By Constantine P. Cavafy
Translated by John Ioannidis
From all I've done and all I've said
let them not seek to find who I've been.
An obstacle stood and transformed
my acts and way of my life.
An obstacle stood and stopped me
many a time as I was going to speak.
My most unobserved acts,
and my writitings the most covered --
thence only they will feel me.
But mayhaps it is not worth to spend
this much care and this much effort to know me.
For -- in the more perfect society --
someone else like me created
will certainly appear and freely act.
We spent nearly all day in Chestertown, Maryland, which was having its annual downrigging weekend -- eleven tall ships, including the Kalmar Nyckel, the Pride of Baltimore II, the schooners Sultana (which sails out of Chestertown), Lady Maryland, Virginia and When & If, and several skipjacks, oyster buyboats and other locally-made historic ships. We had gorgeous crisp fall weather in the 50s, the leaves were still orange and gold on the trees and the boats looked lovely in the water -- most of them will be sailing home for the winter for repairs and restoration soon. Because Chestertown is somewhat out of the way, it was far less crowded than when we've seen some of these ships in Baltimore or Alexandria; they were all open for tours today, and yesterday most of them let people pay to sail. Since we were on the far side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, of course we went out for seafood (crab soup not quite as perfect as at the Captain's Table in Solomon's but still very good, and quite good crab imperial and shrimp, too). This festival is what I had been hoping America's Sail in Beaufort would be like but that one had thousands and thousands of people and insane lines...this one skipped the food vendors and big-name musicians to focus on the ships and local history, and it was perfect.
The Annie D had live music on deck nearly all afternoon, and in the afternoon there was a concert at Chestertown's Prince Theatre with Maggie Sansone, Rosie Shipley and Lisa Moscatiello on hammered dulcimer, fiddle and guitar respectively -- all nautical-themed songs in honor of the weekend, so they did The New St. George's version of "The Mermaid," Jennifer Cutting's version of "Rolling Waves," Lisa's "Just As the Tide Was A'Flowing" and many reels and folk songs, including one in Gaelic Irish that segued into "Drunken Sailor" except they couldn't remember what you were supposed to do with the drunken sailor early in the morning. *g* We walked a bit through Chestertown into the antique, nautical and bookstores and up through the town center where there are war memorials, monuments explaining the role of Chestertown's African-American soldiers during the Civil War, an explanation of why George Washington slept there and the like.
In front is Chestertown's Schooner Sultana, which sponsored the festival. Behind her is the Kalmar Nyckel.
Annie D had a trio playing sailing songs all afternoon. My son wanted to know how come most sailing songs are about how sailors drink too much, chase women, then meet mermaids and die. *g*
The sky as we left Chestertown in the evening. You can see the Kalmar Nyckel's fighting tops on the right, and the differently raked masts of the Pride of Baltimore and Virginia on the left.
After that lovely afternoon it took us awhile to get home in post-Redskins victory traffic (they beat Dallas, whoo!), and I was worried that we would end up missing 60 Minutes, but football ran over and Russell Crowe wasn't on until well after 8 p.m. I wasn't all that impressed either with him or the interview itself -- he seemed uptight and defensive and the interviewer seemed afraid of him, so he touched upon some of the controversial stuff without asking any really insightful questions (David Letterman and Conan O'Brien have both gotten him to open up much more even though Letterman in particular was not at all afraid to get in Russell's face and suggest he needs anger management therapy). And almost nothing about A Good Year except Ridley Scott agreeing that Russell is complicated! (There's more online at Yahoo!) Then we half-watched the Patriots vs. the Colts while I explored a fabulous discovery I had made earlier: Mozilla makes a browser for Windows Mobile PPCs! And Minimo is free, unlike Bitstream's Thunderhawk which appeared to be working on my MDA in the wake of IE's self-destruction (T-Mobile's advice: reset the phone to factory specs, erase everything on it and give up on the upgrade). I can reply to LJ comments from my phone again!
Betty Bowers of Landover Baptist has once again made my day, this time with her comments on Haggard: "I guess it is no more difficult to be a homosexual who purports to dislike homosexuality than it is to be a strike-first warmonger who purports to follow the Prince of Peace...Haggard, perhaps in response to how Foley's crude, after-the-fact attempts to link his unacceptable homosexual indiscretion to a perfectly acceptable addiction, was rather smart to have a sex scandal prepackaged with an even better addiction. Well played!" And she noted that it was easier to accept Foley's being against gay marriage because he wouldn't want to sleep with anyone of legal age to marry anyway, and remarked, "But for the miracle of vote tampering and activist Supreme Court judges, evangelicals would have been as essential to Mr. Bush's election as they like to assume." This makes me laugh and laugh, because if I don't laugh I will get an ulcer between now and Tuesday. I can't even deal with the election TV ads anymore.